When he heard what she had done, Nigel’s face would slacken and his monobrow would rise up to his fast-receding hairline in the way that made her wonder what she ever saw in him. Just yesterday he’d laid their beach towels near the cliff face, seen her looking up and told her, ‘Helen, don’t you dare.’
And then he’d laughed. Because she hadn’t climbed in twenty years, not since they’d had the twins. Because she was unfit and overweight. Because it was ridiculous, the idea of her grasping, now, for anything.
But here she is, the sunrise creeping up the rock, the cool blue water far below, the end in reaching distance. Her fingers hurt, her arms are burning, and the soles of her feet are ripped, slippery with blood. But she’s laughing and crying, her first ever solo climb, imagining Nigel’s dismay as the cool water laps far below.
Tracy Lee-Newman recently graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (Distinction) from the University of Essex and is busy polishing the umpteenth draft of her novel before submitting it to agents. She lives with her fantastically neuro-diverse family in sunny Essex and works part-time as a Special Needs Co-ordinator.
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